Time to think about the NHS

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Quite rightly we have a national obsession with our National Health Service.

Often used as a political football everyone has an opinion on it until you feel poorly, or your child complains that they’re not well.

From that moment the NHS becomes not something to pontificate about but an absolute necessity.

The point that the majority of us access the NHS on a daily basis is with our GPs.

It is no secret that GPs are under a great deal of pressure and today we go behind-the-scenes with one local practitioner.

And it is not a pretty picture as doctors become stretched with record numbers of people coming through their doors.

Already 30,000 additional urgent GP appointment slots are being made available in Sheffield to help practices cope with pressures during winter.

In some ways the NHS is a victim of its own success. The average patient is now older and has more chronic health conditions before compared to 10 years ago. People live longer with these conditions and require more support.

If the NHS is to remain free at the point of delivery then a grown-up discussion is needed on how this can be funded. It is a national treasure and we should give it the thought and care it deserves.